Survey points to pessimism about present and future

Survey points to pessimism about present and future

A resounding 98 percent of Greeks believe the state of the country’s economy is “bad,” according to the recent Eurobarometer survey for spring 2017, conducted in May and published on Wednesday in Brussels, up one percentage point from last year’s fall survey. The bleak outlook stands in sharp contrast to the European Union average of 51 percent of citizens who are unhappy with their country’s economy.

The divergence between the sentiment of Greeks and most Europeans is also huge when it comes to the financial state of their households, with 69 percent in Greece saying it is bad compared with 27 percent across the 28-national bloc.

Asked what they see as their country’s biggest challenges today, 51 percent of Greeks said unemployment, 45 percent pointed to the economic situation, 26 percent the public debt and 16 percent taxation. In the EU as a whole, joblessness was cited by an average of 29 percent of respondents, the migration crisis by 22 percent, health and social security by 20 percent and terrorism by 19 percent.

Terrorism also topped the list of challenges faced by the EU for 44 percent of citizens in the bloc and for 41 percent of Greeks. Migration came second at 38 percent for Europeans and 32 percent of Greeks, with the economy at 18 percent and 31 percent respectively.

Greeks are not very hopeful about the future either, as 70 percent said they believe that “the worst is yet to come,” against 29 percent who think the crisis has peaked.

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